Monday, December 26, 2011

The coldest run

On my long run on Saturday, the temperature was -15 degrees Celsius. The weather forecast had predicted that the wind would die down around noon, so I decided I would try running outside in the afternoon. On the way to Pointe-au-Père, I wasn't feeling any wind, and the cold was quite bearable. But as soon as I turned back toward Rimouski, I had a 10-knot wind in my face, and I became much less comfortable. The first thing that started to hurt was... the tip of my genitals!! It was directly exposed to the chilling wind, and my running pant was not wind-proof. So I put my left hand in front of it to block the wind. The people I crossed must have thought I was a very weird runner... I was holding my ipod in my right hand, but my right fingers soon started to hurt as well, while my left fingers were feeling fine. I therefore switched hands, holding my ipod in my left hand and protecting my sensitive parts from the wind with my right hand, and I started to move my fingers in my gloves. After some time, my left fingers were feeling fine again, but my right fingers were starting to hurt. I kept switching hands like that until almost the end of the run. At some point, I started to feel my eyelids, which were exposed to the wind all the time, becoming numb. I thought: "this is not good at all, I have to find a warm place to stop and warm up as soon as possible". Thankfully I was getting close to the supermarket IGA, where I stopped 5-10 minutes until I was warm enough to go back outside and get back home. Later on I checked what the meteorological conditions had been during my run, and because of the wind the equivalent wind-less temperature had been -24 degrees C! No wonder I had so much discomfort! Never again running in such conditions...

The next day on Christmas I did not feel like running, so I skipped my 4th session of the week.
Distance this week: 47.74 km (29.66 miles).

PS: today I had a great time teaching Margot and Anaël how to ski. But at one point while I was running next to Margot to slow her down, my right foot slipped in the snow and my knee twisted and I collapsed. It was painful and frustrating. This broken crux ligament is becoming quite incapacitating. I am starting to think that perhaps I should get knee surgery, after all...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Transitioning to 4 sessions per week

My training program seems to start paying off: while for the past weeks I was feeling tired and my legs were aching a bit at the end of my long runs, this week I felt great even after completing almost a half-marathon. So I decided it was time to add a session to my weekly schedule: I started with an easy recovery jog today, after my long run of yesterday. My legs were not aching the slightest bit, nor were they feeling "heavy". Instead, I was feeling very good and was running effortlessly. The purpose of this forth session on the day after the long run is to start training my body to run with tired legs. Because no matter how much I train, I will necessarily feel tired at some point during my 35-mile run on my birthday, and the difficulty will consist in being able to keep up my pace until the end! So at the height of my training program, I'll have some back-to-back long runs to perform on week-ends. During the next few weeks, I will therefore slowly lengthen the "recovery" session on Sundays.

Distance this week: 47.04 km (29.23 miles).

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Should I have had surgery for my right knee crux ligament?

Two years ago, I broke my right knee crux ligament while playing squash (perhaps it had been already weakened years before during a nasty fall trying to do a 360-degree jump in snowboard). My stepfather Patrick, who is a sports physician, advised me to have knee surgery. But because of my great fear of surgeries, I decided I would do it only if I couldn't run nor snowboard, windsurf and surf any more. A month after the injury, I was able to snowboard again. Then I started running again progressively, and during my holidays in Hawaii a year after the injury, I completed the Honolulu marathon and was able to surf, all without any knee pain. So I forgot about having knee surgery.

But yesterday, I ran my long run outside in 5-20 cm of powder snow. It made for a more difficult run than usually, as other people's footprints and the occasional rocks hidden by the snow made the ride a bit bumpy. At the end of the run, my right knee ligaments were aching a bit, while my left knee ligaments were not. So, I am wondering whether I am not going to slowly damage my right knee if I keep running regularly for the rest of my life. Perhaps I should have had that knee surgery after all...

Anyway, today my knee is not hurting any more, so it was not too bad I guess. Nor is my right Achilles tendon hurting, which means it has fully healed! Next week I'll do 4 sessions and see what happens...

Distance this week: 36.64 km.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Bravo Davy!

Congratulations to Davy, who has completed today the SaintéLyon ultra marathon (68 km, total elevation gain of 1300 m) in 8:15:31, with only 2-week training before the race, since he decided to participate in this race when I asked him whether he would join me in my running challenges. Well, this makes my 35-mile challenge sound like children play, but I can at least try to beat him in average speed, which would be no feat at all given the shorter distance and mostly flat route I would follow if I am able to run outside at this time of the year (otherwise I will have to run on my treadmill). But this gives me a motivation not to run it too slowly!

Otherwise, I have run 33.32 km this week in 3 sessions, and my tendons have not been sore. Yesterday I ran my long run outside in the snow (2-cm deep) on the coastal forest path, under a very nice weather. It was wonderful.